When I met the Resplendence Publishing gang (I totally picture all of them traveling around the country in the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine) at a conference in Philadelphia last year I was immediately struck by the overwhelming kindness and open arms with which they welcomed me. From the publisher reps to their on-site authors, everyone was so amazingly warm and welcoming to everyone they came into contact with, that by the time the weekend was over I knew I wanted to be a part of that. It’s taken just over a year, but I can now say that I am.
I’d been itching to once again attempt to write something shorter for some time, along the lines of Sno Ho and Anything for You. It’s a story length I’ve never been crazy about as I have a tendency to despise word limits. Whether writing or reading, I’ve always enjoyed longer works of fiction a bit more. Those shorter 35k to 40k length books have a tendency to end, leaving me wanting for more. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad feeling to be left with – certainly preferable to apathy or thoughts of gouging one’s eyes out if nothing else, lol. As a writer, placing limits upon yourself can be healthy – like life, just because you can doesn’t always mean you should. : )
When I sat down and began to think about what kind of story I wanted to tell one theme came to me immediately – the idea of love coming along when it’s most needed as opposed to most wanted. That was the basic thread that I used when I began the process of weaving together this tiny tale. While Henry Abrams is at that point in his life where he’s ready to settle down, that prospect has never really been on Cain Elliott’s radar – for no other reason than his age and the amount of pressure he’s been placed under.
Another topic I wanted to tackle in Love in La Terraza revolved around the habit we human beings too often have, that tendency to mistrust anything that comes easily – as if we’ve been trained to place little stock in something we haven’t had to fight, scrape and wear ourselves out in order to obtain – forever looking that gift horse in the damn mouth in an attempt to figure out what the hell is wrong with it. Instead of being happy over our incredible luck we poke, prod and peel back the layers until we’ve nearly ruined that perfect gift.
Sometimes a spade really is just a spade.
For me, this book is sweet and romantic – hopefully funny as well, though I think most of that humor comes from those surrounding our loveable hero’s – the family Cain has made for himself as well as the one he was born into. Best enjoyed with a couple of glasses of wine and a soundtrack including, Sinatra, Dean Martin & Ella Fitzgerald playing in the background…not necessary mind you, merely recommended. : )
Cain Elliott is a desperate man – on the brink of losing La Terraza, the 1920’s Spanish style courtyard apartment complex his grandmother left him in her will, he’s faced with the option of selling to a real estate developer or losing the building outright, due to the costs of upkeep that have now left him teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
On the partnership fast-track at the flashy architectural firm of Hamilton-Bach, Henry Abrams is new in town, a little lonely and looking for inspiration. Tired of games and longing for something real, Henry discovers the road to happiness could lie in the arms of the sad, uncomplicated Cain Elliott.
Discovering that Hamilton-Bach represents the mysterious entrepreneur attempting to purchase La Terraza, combined with the self-doubt and mistrust over a love that develops too fast, leave both men struggling to decide whether or not they can truly find…Love in La Terraza.
Cain took another long gulp from his beer, feeling as if he were slowly sinking into quicksand. He felt panic building in his chest, the utter sense of hopelessness threatening to take him over. He was just about to hop out of his chair and run for the nearest exit when Eddie interrupted his fretting.
“Who’s staring at us?” Eddie’s shoulders and back writhed as if he physically felt someone’s gaze upon his back.
“How does he do that?” Cain asked, flabbergasted by what the blind man could see that the rest of them had been oblivious to.
Everyone except Eddie turned to look about the room. Cain somehow knew there was only one direction in which to concentrate his efforts.
Yep, there he is, still holding up the bar.
Cain started to grin the instant their gazes met. Mr. Preppy did indeed still seem to have his heart set on conquering Cain’s wild unknown. In truth, the guy was a little slice of heaven, perhaps someplace warm and safe where Cain might rest his weary head for the evening…well…after all the spirited fucking and sucking, of course.
“Mrs. Madrigal has a gentleman caller,” Matt said to Eddie out of the corner of his mouth.
Cain took a cue from Nic and smacked Matt in the arm for his trouble. “I hate it when you call me that.”
“What’s he like?” Eddie asked, now grinning as well.
“Damn!” Nic hissed under her breath.
“That good?” Eddie asked,
Cain scowled over the implied insult. “I’m going to try forgetting you sounded that surprised by the fact.”
“I’m hotter than him.” Stu smirked as he nodded his head in confidence.
“Sorry, Cain,” Eddie mumbled. “Didn’t mean that the way it sounded.”
“Since you won’t be fucking me tonight, that’s sort of a moot point, Stu.” Cain shook his head before reaching across the table to give Eddie a reassuring squeeze of forgiveness.
“The wife does frown upon any extracurricular activities.” Stu winked at Cain while nudging Nic in case she may have thought him serious for even a moment.
“Are you all still staring at him?” Eddie asked.
They glanced between one another, quickly turning back to face the table in shame.
“Way to drive him away there, people,” Eddie said.
“Shit, I—” Nic glanced up quickly then looked back down at the tabletop like a child who’d just been scolded. “I think he’s coming over!”
Cain sat up straight, eyes wide, more frightened by the high-pitched squeal of Nic’s voice than surprised over the fact he was about to land himself a hook-up for the evening.
Eddie shook his head as if he were attempting to get his hearing back. “Good god, woman, another octave or two higher and only dogs would’ve been able to hear that.”
“Pardon me for interrupting,” a deep, sexy southern voice came from behind Cain. “I couldn’t help but notice the entire table staring at me.”
Cain turned, looking upward at the man in question and trying his best to not laugh. “Hiya.”
“No pardon needed.” Eddie stood up from the table while yanking on Matt’s arm. “We were just leaving.”
Cain felt the heat flush his cheeks the instant Eddie had said it.
Not at all obvious.
Matt stood, clumsily. “Please take a seat, though. Cain was planning to hang.”
Cain rolled his eyes. “And I’m just dying to keep you company, sir. In exchange for taking me off their hands my daddies can offer you two goats, a head of cattle and a skillet.”
Eddie was already shaking his head in disgust. “Please try and stick around long enough to make it through the first act, Mr…?”
“Abrams. Henry Abrams,” he said, extending his hand before noticing the white folding cane in Eddie’s hand.
Cain thought he was kinda cute, standing there slightly awkward for a moment as he tried to decide what to do with his hand now that it was already out there. He tossed Henry a lifeline by taking it instead, shaking his hand.
“The second act does have a bitchin’ musical number you don’t wanna miss, Mr. Abrams. My name is Cain Elliott.”
“May I sit?” Henry asked as everyone said their goodbyes to Eddie and Matt who scurried off into the crowd, whispering to one another.
“Please,” Nic said, smiling as if she were Cain’s self-appointed social director, having completely missed the cues Eddie had thrown down like gas on an already flaming forest fire.
Cain could tell Stu had not but wasn’t quite able to figure out a subtle way to tell his wife they were now intruding upon and likely impeding the sacred homo mating dance.
“So what is it you do, Henry?” Nic asked.
Cain could tell she was wired up and ready to play Debbie Drill Sergeant, already commencing with the interrogation.
Henry started to answer, but Cain dreamily placed two fingertips over the man’s lips.
He laughed to himself, realizing he’d had just enough alcohol to make him fearless. “Let’s not do the whole, this is me and that is you shakedown, gorgeous. I’m feeling like a little mystery might do me some good. How about you?”
Henry’s forehead crinkled, as if he were thinking real hard about whether or not he liked where this was going. His playful half smile told Cain he was still amused if nothing else.
“We can always have share-time later, you know, after—if the sex is hot, that is.”
Henry blushed, but he started to laugh. Cain could tell the man knew he was at least half joking for the benefit of their audience across the table.
“Well, what if he’s a serial killer or something?” Nic asked, visibly disgusted with Cain.
“He most likely wouldn’t come out and say so just because you asked him, dear.”
Nic started to object then must’ve realized Cain had a point.
“You aren’t a serial killer, right?” Cain muttered out of the corner of his mouth.
“No, sir, I am not.” He smiled at Nic, pouring on the charm. “I hereby solemnly swear to inflict no pain or suffering upon your good friend.”
“Not even if I beg you to?” Cain asked.
Reach Ethan Day here.
Love at La Terraza is available now at Resplendence Publishing